Michelle Grue Appointed Assistant Teaching Professor in College of Creative Studies and UCSB Writing Program
Welcome New Faculty Michelle Grue
In July of 2020, Michelle Grue was welcomed as a full-time faculty member in CCS and the Writing Program and became an Assistant Teaching Professor at UCSB. Grue joined UC Santa Barbara in 2015 as a masters student in the Gevirtz Graduate School of Education, earning her MA in Education in 2018. She continued in a doctoral program in the same field and completed her degree in 2020. As a graduate student, she taught for the UCSB Writing Program, and in 2019, became a CCS Writing & Literature Fellow and Teaching Associate at CCS.
“We’re delighted that Michelle will be joining the Writing Program faculty. She brings a rich understanding of our disciplinary field, and in particular in a key area of current scholarship: theorizing and teaching intersectionality,” said Madeleine Sorapure, Director of the UCSB Writing Program. CCS Dean Gerardo Aldana echoed those sentiments, adding that “CCS is excited to have Michelle join our faculty at a critical time for CCS and for the Writing & Literature Major. Her contributions will help to shape the experience in foundational ways.”
CCS is excited to have Michelle join our faculty at a critical time for CCS and for the Writing & Literature Major. Her contributions will help to shape the experience in foundational ways. - Dean Gerardo Aldana
In addition to her familiarity with the Writing Program and CCS, Grue brings a wealth of experience to the position. This includes teaching first-year writing, leading students in archival research projects, and designing innovative curriculum. Grue has extensive experience working with students from diverse and first-generation backgrounds, an area she is especially interested in given her own experiences seeing the impact education can have.
"I am the rich fruit borne from my ancestors' toil. My paternal grandmother was a teacher at a poor segregated school in rural North Florida during Jim Crow. My maternal grandparents broke societal norms by both interracially and internationally marrying,” said Grue. “They did not live to see me earn the highest academic degree in my field, but I know they are proud, not just of my educational achievements, but of my efforts to bridge our international heritage in my work and my dedication to serve students who also bear the weight of their ancestors' dreams."
Grue’s strong dedication to UCSB undergraduate and graduate learning can be seen from her enthusiasm for co-organizing research conferences at UCSB, including the first and second Celebrating Black Scholarship Conference in 2017 and 2018, respectively. Both conferences, hosted by the UCSB Black Graduate Student Association, showcased research from Black undergraduate and graduate students at UCSB.
In addition to Grue’s work with students, she has an extensive research background. Grue’s research in Education and Writing is inherently interdisciplinary and draws on Black feminism to investigate diversity issues in academia, creative writing, and digital writing. Her dissertation, “Walking the walk: How Rhetoric and Composition doctoral programs prepare their graduate students for intersectional Writing Studies research,” examines the curriculum of doctoral programs in Writing, Rhetoric, and Composition and looks at how they address the study of race and gender issues in writing pedagogy and research. Her thesis specifically focuses on the ways graduate students learn, both officially and unofficially, how to research race and gender in these programs.
Grue’s most recent academic publications include an article that examines the rhetorical performances in the dress practices of Black women professors in the Journal of Multimodal Rhetoric and an essay about Afrofuturism as a frame and resource for literacy instruction. She has presented her work at a variety of national and international conferences. Recently, Grue gave a guest lecture on “Race in the United States” and led an invited workshop on “Diversifying Curriculum? Let’s get started: A hands-on workshop” at the University of Kent in the UK. She presented her research on Mitigating isolation through social media: Twitter use of Black professors in the US and UK at the 2019 Annual Society for Research in Higher Education Conference in Wales.
Aside from her academic work, Grue is an active creative writer. She recently published a poem in the Zingara Poetry Review about race and motherhood in the US called "Cotton and Coconut.” In Astral Waters Press, Grue published a short fantasy story, "Mercy," about a Black mermaid who saves the life of a slave thrown overboard from a slave ship during the TransAtlantic Slave Trade. This story was recently republished in Exposition Review as part of their Expo Recommends: #AmplifyBIPOC (Black, Indigenous, and People of Color) list and Grue is currently developing it into a novel.
I couldn't be more pleased to continue to work with the UCSB Writing Program and CCS Writing & Literature program. Both have played a significant role in my development as a scholar and as a teacher. - Dr. Michelle Grue
In Grue’s new position at UCSB, she will continue to split her time between the UCSB Writing Program and the CCS Writing & Literature program. She will be teaching introductory writing courses in addition to courses in creative nonfiction, multimedia writing, gender studies, and others. "I couldn't be more pleased to continue to work with the UCSB Writing Program and CCS Writing & Literature program. Both have played a significant role in my development as a scholar and as a teacher,” said Grue. “I know the transition will be a challenge, not just from increasing responsibilities, but with the weightiness of our current times. But, I am reminded again of the generosity of my colleagues who have made themselves available for generative planning sessions for fall, and the strength of my students who handled the difficulties of this past spring with enviable grace. I know we can get through this time together and I am confident that I will continue to grow as a faculty member at UCSB."
“Michelle is poised to provide our students with a fresh and important toolkit for their own creative writing, writing studies and literary scholarship. The faculty and I warmly welcome Dr. Grue to her new position at CCS!” said CCS Dean Aldana.